Set in the heart of Mayfair overlooking glorious Green Park is London’s Athenaeum Hotel. The building front is like no other city hotel, covered in lush green foliage and tropical plants the hotel name it their ‘living wall’. The ten-story wall garden sits in synergy with London’s nearby parks and certainly stands The Athenaeum out as unique.
And so, from this autumn the luxury hotel are supporting and celebrating The Royal Parks Foundation’s 10th birthday, with a package sure to impress guests.
Available from 1 September until 30 November 2012, the Parks Pleasures package includes a one-night stay at the hotel and an ‘Evergreen Tea’ for two. For each Park Pleasures package booked, The Athenaeum will donate £10 to the Royal Parks Foundation.
StyleNest headed to the five star hotel on London’s Piccadilly to sample the afternoon tea, which recently won itself the high accolade of ‘Top London Afternoon Tea’ from the respected Tea Guild.
Even before we get to the teas, scones and various delights it’s obvious why The Athenaeum won the award which is said to be the tea industry’s Oscars. The staff are so warm, welcoming and really know their stuff. Any tea related questions are answered in a moment with expert knowledge but absolutely no pretense – in fact it made us think we should be upping our game in the tea department.
Starting off with The Athenaeum’s signature rose-infused champagne cocktail (which we could have quite happily had a few more of they were so delicious), we then moved onto the all-important teas. Unlike some afternoon tea menus, which can be extensive and a little intimidating, The Athenaeum’s is more of a concise edit of the best teas from around the globe, making decision time much easier.
Choose from the classics like Earl Grey and English Breakfast or go for something a little more exotic such as Chinese Pai Mu Tan Silver or Hi Antiox Cream Earl Grey Green – a blend of both Sri Lankan and Kenyan teas. The blends are presented in a sturdy, wooden menu, which again reflects the hotel’s earthy, green theme. Decision are made all the more easy as the staff are happy to bring you as many fresh teas as you like so you can sample from far and wide.
Accompanying our brews were a wealth of sandwiches, scones and cakes. Traditional English finger sandwiches are up first from succulent roast beef to simple egg and watercress. All beautifully hand cut and finger friendly, they’re the most elegant and tasty sandwiches we’ve ever tried.
These were followed by warm freshly baked scones, which had a subtle hint of orange blossom and came topped with a choice of rich cream and jam or zesty lemon curd.
Finally once the scones were polished off and we’d found room for our third and final treat, the cake and dessert trolley was wheeled out. A feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds, but certainly not the hips, the display was filled with everything from pretty fruit champagne jellies to indulgent chocolate fudge cakes. We sampled as many as we could, well it would be rude not to, and concluded the fruit tart was amongst the best we’d ever had.
Given that the weather isn’t looking its best at the moment, a picnic in the park isn’t looking likely for at least another six months. The Athenaeum’s Evergreen Tea is the closet thing you’ll get to outdoors dining at this time of year, and it’s certainly more sophisticated.
The Athenaeum Park Package includes a one night stay and Evergreen Tea for two. Prices start from £287. The Evergreen tea can be purchased on its own for £28.50 or £35 with a glass of champagne.
The Athenaeum, 116 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 7BJ. Book online or call 020 7499 3464 for more information.